Robin van Persie won’t be appearing at Euro 2016 after the Netherlands failed to qualify, but that hasn’t stopped him from revealing his all-time Euro XI as the tournament in France approaches.
The former Arsenal and Manchester United forward endured a miserable qualifying campaign. As well as finishing fourth in Group A, Van Persie was replaced as captain and scored an own goal in the final group game.
And that embarrassing blunder in the 3-2 loss to the Czech Republic could be one of the lasting images of Van Persie in an orange shirt. At 32 years of age, it’s not wrong to debate whether the Fenerbahce player will ever appear in a major international tournament again.
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The Netherlands’ absence from Euro 2016 borders on humiliating considering the talent in Danny Blind’s squad and their third-place finish at the 2014 World Cup. Players were blasted in Holland and rightly so given the national team’s status as one of the best footballing nations in the world.
In fact, the three Dutch players Van Persie included in his team were all part of the team that won the European Championship in 1988.
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He also found room for former Arsenal teammate Thierry Henry, winner of the World Cup in 1998 and the Euros two years later, and Gianluigi Buffon, who was part of the Italy side that was demolished by Spain in the Euro 2012 final.
Check out the full XI below, per Goal.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
It seems that Van Persie has selected players based on their international success. That’s the only plausible explanation for Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence.
Many called for Van Persie to retire following Euro 2016 qualifying but he vowed to continue to represent his country, claiming he will not “run away” from what became an adverse situation.
“We will have to bite, for almost a year, on a very sour apple and we must all go through it - the players, the fans, the media, everyone,” he reflected, per the Daily Mail.
“A lot has happened. I'm going to have a quiet think about it. But as I see it now, I'll just stay available.
“I still think it's a great honour to play for Oranje. In good, but also bad times. I'm not one to run away from difficult situations, I won't do so now either.
“Giving up is not an option, though of course it depends on whether I am called.”